This is a subject that, when discussed with my clients they always seem surprised and bewildered that I am telling them to wear sunscreen even in the winter months. Sun protection should not be limited to use on our sunshine holidays to solely prevent the short term effects in the form of sunburn. It is the long term exposure that causes gradual damage and accounts for about 90% of the skin’s signs of ageing and leads to a higher risk of skin cancers, including melanoma.
The 2 main categories of UV light that reach the earth’s surface are UVA and UVB. Most people have already experienced the effects of UVB rays in the form of sunburn, and yes so have I. Being very fair-skinned and lacking in knowledge in my early years I have on too many occasions become a victim to the very aggressive rays and been left with a painful reminder that the suns UV rays, even though invisible to the eye, are a force to be reckoned with!
UVB rays account for 5% of the suns rays and vary throughout the seasons and weather conditions. They penetrate into the superficial epidermal layers of the skin and play a big part in the development of pigmentation irregularities and contribute to photo-ageing.
UVA, on the other hand, accounts for 95% of the UV rays that reach the earth’s surface and can pass through clouds, glass and are present every day of the year at equal intensity during all daylight hours.
They have a longer wavelength and, as you can see from the image, penetrate deeper into the skins dermal tissue, causing the degradation of collagen, elastin and blood vessels. This leads to the appearance of lines, wrinkles and a slackening of the skin.
Alongside the effects of ageing UVA and UVB have on the skin is the more detrimental damage causing the development of skin cancer. This makes it even more important to protect from these harmful rays.
UVA should be the focus when using a sunscreen considering it comprises 95% of UV and is responsible for the majority of photoaging and skin cancer. However, consumers believe they are being protected from all UV rays when using an SPF. The SPF number shows only the level of protection from UVB rays. Products giving a high SPF that mainly absorb UVB reduce the risk of sunburn so allowing you to stay in the sun longer, you may not burn, however, you will actually increase your risk of UVA damage.
Types of filters
To ensure protection from both UVA and UVB a “broad spectrum” sunscreen is required, the product will clearly state if it has broad-spectrum protection. Along with this type of protection, I also recommend using a sunscreen with physical filters rather than chemical. Chemical filters are made up of particles that are absorbed into the skin and deactivate the rays changing the light energy to heat. There have been many studies that have drawn attention to the potential hazards of chemical filters used in sunscreens, such as suspected hormone disruptors and allergens.
Sunscreens using physical filters like Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are safe, gentle and natural minerals, sit on the skin’s surface and reflect and scatter the light away from the skin. Since these minerals are just sitting on the skin’s surface they are comfortable and non-irritating even for the most sensitive of skins.
So what do I recommend you use?
After extensive research and trialling products myself I came across AlumierMD that, not only provide excellent results through their treatments but the targeted homecare products and focus on sun protection gave me the confidence to not only use on my own skin but to recommend to my clients also.
The problem that sometimes arises with people wearing sunscreens every day is they feel that the texture of the product is not suitable for them. AlumierMD has created a range of cosmetically elegant formulas that allow for a choice in texture and even tint. Therefore these sunscreens can be worn alone or under your makeup and, just like me, you will love using them every day.
Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40
Great for dry skin this product with its sheer texture gives a silky and healthy glow. Containing moisturizing Vitamin E and packed with free-radical quenching anti-oxidants, it is offered in either untinted formula or with a versatile tint that blends beautifully on the skin.
Clear Shield Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 42
Great for all skin types but especially good for acne and rosacea skins as it is lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic. It contains Niacinamide to soothe and relieve redness targeting blemishes. Its light texture, gentle and quick-drying formula makes it perfect for the oilier skin types and also the men love this product.
Moisture Matte Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40
My personal favourite, this sunscreen is suitable for normal to oily skin. The formula lightly moisturizes to smooth and hydrate, while absorbing excess oil creating a matte finish. Cutting edge colour encapsulated beads blend on the skin to create a sheer healthy glow. It is offered in 3 tints and is great if you don’t wear foundation but would like a little coverage, alternatively, it can be worn under makeup. You can customize the level of tint and coverage with this clever product, a light rub onto the skin will release only a few colour beads resulting in a light tint or by rubbing a little longer you will achieve a deeper tint.
Find out how the sun affects our skin on a daily basis- click here to read more.
If there is one thing you add into your skincare regime, if you haven’t already, make it a sunscreen and if your not sure on what will be the best product for you or would like to discuss any skin concerns, why not book in for a FREE skin consultation with myself and I can customise a regime perfect for you!
During lockdown, my consultations have gone virtual!! So to book your online consultation click here and we can discuss your concerns and create you a regime to help target these.